Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Blade vs. The Constitution

Recently, Lucas County commissioners decided to form a storm-water district to address mandates from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. The district encompasses several of the county's townships, including Sylvania Township.

The proposal is to charge all the property owners in the district for the costs associated with the EPA requirements - about $48.72 per year for residences with businesses being charged based upon the size of their paved areas, roofs, etc...

The problem is that Sylvania Township has looked at the requirements and determined that it can meet their EPA obligations at less cost, so they don't want to be a part of the district. And why should they? The obligation of Sylvania Township Trustees to represent their residents - and meeting these EPA mandates on their own will cost their residents less. And the EPA doesn't care how the requirements are met - so long as they are.

But that doesn't sit well with the socialists/collectivists at The Blade. They slam Trustee Kevin Haddad for, basically, doing a good job on behalf of Sylvania Township.

In their editorial, they admit that Sylvania Township can perform their EPA obligations at roughly half what they'd pay as part of the district. But that's a bad thing, according to unknown author of the editorial who points out:

It is not known what effect removing the most populous community from the water district would have on the cost in the other six townships.

There you have it.

The Blade has, for a long time, believed that other communities should subsidize the efforts of the major city, Toledo. And here is another example where it believes that well-run, proportionally-taxed communities should pay for the things other jurisdictions have to do - but have no money with which to pay for them. And, just to be sure we're clear, the reason many of those 'other' communities don't have the funds to do these mandates is because their elected officials are too busy jumping to spend money on things the paper promotes.

The Blade has also been a proponent for regionalism, including a push for a county-wide council to govern the entire 88 square miles of Lucas County. But in their push for uni-gov, they forget a critical component - cost. You see, to the editors at our local daily, the idea is the critical thing and the costs are to be born, regardless.

Mr. Haddad has an odd idea of regional cooperation. He says he is all for it — as long as his community doesn’t end up subsidizing work anywhere else. In February, he trashed the county commissioners’ regional refuse-collection plan, calling it a ruse by the City of Toledo to get other municipalities to subsidize its garbage collection.

No community wants to subsidize the outcome of another community's bad fiscal decisions - and they shouldn't!

But that's not the worst of it. The reason they promote these types of illogical ideas is because they start from an incorrect premise. It's no wonder they come to bad conclusions. Here, in their own words, is the problem - their idea of the function of government is not constitutionally based - but rather based upon the failed socialistic perspective:

One of the reasons governments exist is to collect resources from a broad base and redistribute them, not necessarily equally but rather where they are needed most.

Note how closely that aligns with Karl Marx's "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."

And compare that to the U.S. Constitution, which explains why we established our government:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Unlike the editors, our founders created our form of government to 'secure the blessings of liberty' not to redistribute the wealth.

The Blade and its editors have a warped sense of government. Even in the clause, providing for the common defense, they are talking about doing so in order to protect the individual liberties of the people within the nation.

If they want to try and twist their position into saying it's to 'establish justice,' they would fail as there is nothing 'just' in taking from one to give to another. In fact, that is routinely called 'theft' when done by anyone but the government these days.

Even if they tried to claim their philosophy was to 'promote the general welfare,' well, perhaps a study of James Madison quotes about that phrase would be educational:

"With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators."

"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America."

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."

...or Thomas Jefferson:

"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."

The scary part is how close we are today to the warning in the second quote from Madison.

But here we are, with a local paper that clearly has no concept of the proper function of government and is excoriating a local elected official who has the temerity to suggest that bigger is not better simply because it's called 'cooperation' and believes that the overreaching federal government mandates can be met at less cost to his constituents if he doesn't capitulate.

The Blade is on the wrong side in this issue, but when you believe as Marx did, is it any wonder?

1 comment:

ProNEO said...

Excellent article! You have hit what "Smart Growth" and regionalism is REALLY all about =that the suburban and rural areas are not paying their "fair share" and should send their taxes to the central cities.

I am fighting this in Cleveland /Akron, but is it is going on all over the country. When Toledo was fat and happy did you think they were considering sharing their taxes from Jeep, Dana, OI etc. with Waterville or the townships? But a sudden urban downturn leads them and their newspaper cheerleaders to realize we are suddenly "all in this together," and we suburban and rural residents have plundered their city resources and now have a "social equity" obligation to share with cities like Cleveland where they pay councilmen $100 K with bennies and buy $200 electronic trash toters to promote recycling.

We need to say ENOUGH! - Cities, get your houses in order first, then come at us with your hand out.

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